Caring Rothwell pub launches dementia cafe

Dementia campaigner Peter Smith (right) with landlord Mark Collin of the Hare and Hounds, in Rothwell. Picture by Simon Hulme.
Dementia campaigner Peter Smith (right) with landlord Mark Collin of the Hare and Hounds, in Rothwell. Picture by Simon Hulme.
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A community pub has launched a weekly event to help people with dementia meet and share memories in the comfort of their local.

Pub worker Stacey Knight, whose family has been affected by the illness, was the driving force behind the Hare and Hounds pub, in Commercial Street, Rothwell, becoming the first in the city to launch its own weekly dementia cafe.

Around a dozen people with dementia and their carers have attended the first three ‘Care ‘n’ Hounds’ events this month, where the pub puts on free tea, coffee and cake for visitors.

Former Alzheimer’s Society carer Peter Smith, who has helped Rothwell become the city’s first dementia friendly area, gave training to pub staff for the event which takes place on Mondays from 2pm to 4pm.

He told the YEP: “I believe it’s the first dementia friendly pub. Because of the social setting of a pub and community aspect we have in Rothwell, we’ve already had a couple of people here that haven’t been to a pub in years because they fear they might get embarrassed. This has really opened them up.”

Peter, whose dementia friendly efforts have been backed by non other than Prime Minister David Cameron, also runs the monthly Tea Cosy memory cafe at Rothwell Parish Centre as well as a similar cafe in Woodlesford.

He has trained hundreds of people in businesses and public services such as the police in learning how to deal with those with dementia who often suffer with memory loss and understanding.

Mark Collin, landlord at the Hare and Hounds, added: “It’s an environment where they feel comfortable and don’t feel they’re being looked at. It’s been really humbling to see them enjoy it and reminisce.

“People are ignorant to the facts and I don’t think we do enough for the elderly.”

In his bid to build a community pub, the Hare and Hounds will also host a First World War commemoration event, where locals and Rothwell care home residents will be invited, on August 3 from 10.30am.

For more on Care ‘n’ Hounds call 0113 4405089 or for details on dementia friendly Rothwell email


Becoming a Dementia Friend is as simple as watching a video and taking part in an information session.

The scheme, led by the Alzheimer’s Society, aims to give 1m people training to better understand dementia and learn how to support people struggling with its symptoms such as memory loss and confusion.

The Department for Health launched the £2.4m Dementia Friends programme in 2012 in a bid to raise awareness of a condition that is thought to affect around 820,000 people in the UK.

Leeds has embraced the idea of becoming dementia friendly, with Peter Smith’s pilot project first raising awareness of the condition in Rothwell. It has since developed into dementia cafes and training sessions across the city.

For further information on becoming a Dementia Friend visit

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